Greener Grass on Your Side of the Fence
By Amber Mabe
Spring is in the air once more, and every year we look forward to the first blooms of the season peeking out from the soil and budding on empty branches. However, along with the beautiful flowers and lush green grass, malicious weeds and pests are already stirring in your lawn and garden. Crabgrass and other weeds start to germinate as soon as the soil temperature exceeds 55 degrees, so early prevention is key to keeping weeds under control. Mike Smith, owner of Green Pro Lawn Care says March is the month to nip pests and weeds in the bud in order to have a healthy lawn throughout the year.
Mike, who describes himself as a “shorts and t-shirt kind of guy,” always wanted to have a job that would allow him to work outside. After receiving his degree in 1985, he went on to work for various lawn care companies before starting his own. In 2006, with 20 years of experience under his belt, he founded Green Pro Lawn Care. Over the past 15 years, the business has grown, largely due to word-of-mouth recommendations from satisfied customers. Green Pro has held an A+ rating for the entire decade they have been a part of the Better Business Bureau. Despite being offered lucrative contracts spanning the Carolinas, Mike says he wants Green Pro Lawn Care to remain a truly small town company. “I enjoy working on lawns and making people happy,” Mike says. “We always work hard for our customers, do the best job that we can, and guarantee our work.” One of the best things about Green Pro Lawn Care is Mike’s commitment to one-on-one customer service. He oversees every job personally, taking time to talk with customers over concerns and expectations. He even makes free service calls in between treatments if a problem arises. “He always takes a moment when he gets here to walk around together and take a look at the yard, and see if there are any trouble spots,” says long-time customer Chuck Hill. “When we moved into this house the yard was a mess. I found him, and now my yard is the envy of the neighborhood. He is very knowledgeable and excellent at what he does.”
Having a great lawn requires patience and a knowledge of how your lawn’s ecosystem works, both of which Mike hopes to impart to each of his clients. A healthy lawn begins with treating early for crabgrass and other weeds, as well as harmful insects. Proactively treating for grub worms will not only reduce the damage from the grubs themselves, but also reduce the presence of the moles who feed on them, and their mature form: the Japanese beetle. After fertilization and applications to fight weeds and pests in the spring, treatments continue throughout the summer, every 6-7 weeks. Mike takes time to speak with his customers about how to best care for their lawns in between treatments, such as when to water and mow. Mowing the grass too short during the hot summer months or watering only during the hottest part of the day can cause grass to wither and brown in the harsh sunlight, giving weeds an opportunity to take over. Watering at night is also a mistake, as it can lead to a deadly lawn fungus called brown patch. Mike says watering between six and eight o’clock in the morning is the best option, giving the roots a chance to fully absorb the water. When fall arrives, it is time for seeding and aeration. “You have got to have aeration every fall to get a thick green lawn,” Mike says. “North Carolina is mostly clay soil, which is very compact.” Green Pro is committed to using weed-free seed when seeding their lawns, unlike commercially available seed which can often include inert matter and malignant seeds. With competent care and a little patience, even the worst lawn can make a full transformation after following Green Pro’s year-long program. When Shannon Swartzlander saw the cover of Kernersville Magazine featuring Green Pro in 2009, she hoped their services would help turn her weed ridden yard into a safe place for kids and pets to play. “We wanted to support someone local; we did not want a big chain,” Shannon says. “He is just a great guy; we will go out and chat with him and he takes the time to visit and get to know the family. We have been really pleased.” Shannon says that over the last 12 years of service, Mike’s reliability, good communication, and fair pricing have made Green Pro the best choice in lawn care for their busy family.
Being a small-town business does not keep Green Pro from utilizing some of the latest technology in serving their customers. Clients can expect same-day results on estimates, thanks to a program that uses aerial photography to calculate exact yard square footage. Mike handles each estimate himself and can quickly respond to potential clients with accurate quotes. It is important to Mike that clients feel like they have options when it comes to services offered and payment plans. The most popular service is the Basic Lawn Program, which includes the 7-step lawn treatment program. Customers can choose to pay as they go or save ten percent by pre-paying for the year. The all-inclusive lawn care program adds aeration, seeding, grub control, brown patch control and lime, and is divided into 12 monthly payments for a budgeted lawn care package. Mosquito control is an optional add-on and a recent addition to Green Pro’s services and is applied every three weeks between April and September.
If you are looking to place your lawn in the hands of an expert, March is the time to give Mike a call. For this month only, Mike is offering free fall aeration to any new customer who signs up for a year’s worth of lawn treatments. For more information, visit GreenProLawnCare.com or call 336-306-9030.